Football season has returned, and with it, the bane of productivity in the American workplace: Fantasy Football. Over the next six months, regardless of any internal policies discouraging the game, recruiters throughout the country will be focused on waiver wires and injury reports, when they should be thinking about making placements.

Rather than fight the inevitable, managers should gain what value they can from Fantasy Football obsession. Savvy leaders can find teaching points on anything ranging from candidate sourcing strategy to sales analytics, but the best staffing and recruiting managers will use fantasy football as a tool to glean insight into the individual working style and recruiting strength of each of their team members.

Keep an eye on each individual’s approach to the game, and you’ll notice a few different profiles shine through. Ultimately, this information will give you a better grasp on how to tailor placement coaching strategies for each of your team members.

Here are four profiles to look out for as football season ramps up:

1. The Talent Scout

Talent Scouts are the individuals who have a sixth sense for digging up talent that everyone else has overlooked. They are the ones who go out of their way to grab Larry Donnell or Danny Woodhead right before they bust out. They find diamonds in the rough.

Whether it’s an innate talent, an eye for detail, or perhaps just blind luck, it’s a trait that managers should be aware of. When the lens is switched from football to recruiting, you may find that your resident talent scouts are asking more in-depth questions in interviews, catching critical details in resumes, spending more time scouring LinkedIn, or doing something to “magically” find your best talent when you really need it. Keep this in mind when your back is against the wall, and see if your scouts are willing to share a few sourcing tricks with the rest of the team.

2. The Negotiator

Your Negotiators are constantly wheeling and dealing. Their competitive advantage lies in their ability to persuade and influence their fellow participants- to work trades that somehow always end up in their favor. Whether their success comes through flattery, charm, or logic, they win because they find ways of acquiring the player they need when they need him.

Negotiators are also the best closers. They have the charisma and gumption to see the sales process through to the end, as well as the business savvy to see to the needs of every party involved in a deal. Put these team members in client-facing positions and put these strengths to work for your business and your candidates.

3. The Stat Geek

Stat Geeks seem to know every stat for every player. They can list yards after carry, number of touches, average yards per reception- you name it, they know it. Gut instinct and emotional ties won’t sway a Stat Geek’s decision making. For them, the truth is in the numbers.

These are the recruiters who will be best at maintaining an organized recruiting process and digging into past performance to assess what they can do better in the future. Stat Geeks are a valuable asset to any recruiting team, as they will sniff out the inconsistencies in how your team is performing and help you to eliminate cumbersome or ineffective steps from your recruiting process. Not coincidentally, stat geeks are also pretty tough to beat in fantasy football.

4. The Grinder

Grinders keep one eye on their team at all times, constantly make adjustments, and snatch the best free agents up the second they become available. They succeed by being “on” all the time, and beating other players to the punch. Grinders will never forget to replace injured players, and they always find ways to keep their teams competitive through tough bye-weeks.

When it comes to recruiting, you’ll find that the Grinders are also the members of your team who stay later, make more calls, and continue to fight for candidates until the chances of making a placement are absolutely zero. Grinders are the eternal optimists on your team – they’ll keep you afloat by plugging away when placements are few and far between.


Fantasy Football is popular because it is an intensely social affair, and many different approaches can lead to success. It requires persistence, dedication, charisma, intuition, and a little bit of luck- a lot of traits you need for recruiting. Your team is going to be playing on company time regardless of what you do, so you might as well take advantage of the opportunity to glean insights you can use to set them up for success in their real jobs.

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